The Art Of The Deal

By W.R. Jones

 

    Donald was his first name, I didn’t catch his last name but he looked familiar.  He had a very strange looking comb over with hair that looked like cotton candy sprayed with a black lacquer.   We were setting up to paint and he was standing between me and that blond beauty, Susan Gardner.

    I offered him $5 to change places; telling him I liked the light better on the other side.  He said he didn’t deal with such small sums.  I upped the offer to $10 and he said that wasn’t going to get it, and did I notice how good she smelled.  OK, I says will you take $15?  He smiles and points out  those form fitting white jeans.  Damn, $20 is all I’ve got, my last bit of money from the inheritance.  “You sure that’s all you got”, he questions.  Yep, I say.  “Good”, he says, “I like taking a man’s last cent.”

    I moved over and watched her set up the still life above.  The symbolism was blatant.  I suspect she was doing it subconsciously unaware I could read it like a book.  The clear bottle was me; it stood for clarity of vision and purity of heart and soul.  The blue bottle was her and represented murky depths that will always remain obscure and impossible to understand (actually, I suppose it represents all women).  The silver bowl stands for money.  You have to have coin to get close to this bottle (this too really stands for all women).  I should have painted my lost $20 in the bowl but didn’t have any sap green on my palette.

    So, there I was, painting next to her; I got what I bargained for didn’t I?  Not exactly; like the old saying “be careful of what you wish for”, that Donald guy skinned me.  He knew she was a smoker.  As soon as that still life was arranged, she lit up a cigar and started chomping on it like Mango on a baby back rib bone.

    The entire session she was blowing smoke in my face.  Between puffs she would put the cigar right in the middle of the set up.   For more than an hour I listened to “Phhht, thwack” sounds as she spit the tobacco bits across the room into the trash can.  I’ve got to give her this; she was quite accurate.

    You doubt the story?  Hey, look at the painting, a picture is worth a thousand words, or about a 1/2 cup of gasoline.

    And me; I won’t part with more than $12 to paint next to her again.

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14 Responses to The Art Of The Deal

  1. gypsy-heart says:

    Sometimes karma can be hell…eh? :O

    Good rendering even if you had to hold your breath while painting it! I especially like the smoke..not an easy thing to capture.

  2. grfxho says:

    The shadowing on the wall behind the glass bottle and bowl is really nice, Bill. The way they overlap and you have some shadowing from something else (The Donald?) in there too.

    Lovely piece.

  3. Dianne Mize says:

    Good job, Bill. I especially like the blue bottle and the reflections on the desktop as well as on the wall.

    You know any country music singers? They’d make a heyday out of this tale.

  4. Nava says:

    Donald is a very wise man… I like the mood of this piece.

  5. 100swallows says:

    A nice story, Bill. And that cigar burning there makes me nervous. The clear glass self-portrait is particularly good.

  6. kimiam says:

    lol, Bill. So good at playing innocent when you know exactly what you painted!

  7. wrjones says:

    Gypsy – my karma master has been distracted, leaving me swinging in the breeze for years. I had to smoke 5 of those expensive Cubans cigars
    before I finally got the smoke right.

    Thanks grfxho – can you see Donald waving my $20 in the shadows?

    Dianne – thank you. It is a sad story that should be written into a country song.

    Thank you, Nava.

    Swallows, she finished the cigar before it burned the wood.

    David – I think of it as art blanca. Compared to my other endevors it is relatively pure and optimistic.

    Kimiam – I’m not “playing” innocent, I’m serious about my innocence. They are not going to get me. Do you think I need a lawyer?

  8. Susan Carlin says:

    Ok, you’re a hoot. And a damn good painter, I might add.

  9. Nava says:

    I have come bringing an award. Check my recent blogpost.

  10. wrjones says:

    Thank you Susan, and thanks for the award, Nava. We are honored.

  11. bonnieluria says:

    What prompts what first? Do the paintings evoke the Mickey Spillane dialog or does the scenario inspire you to paint?
    What a multi-twisted and talented brain you have.
    And I’m sure, much better hair than that Donald guy.

    Great work on the glass objects too.

  12. Susan says:

    I am Susan’s husband and I am very offended by this. I think Susan is worth more like, $25 or so. I am accepting offers; major credit cards accepted.

  13. wrjones says:

    You are as tough as that Donald guy. Still, you have to admire a man who has a clear understanding of the value of his stuff. I would consider $25 if you could provide a certificate showing completion of a cigar rehab program.

    As a friendly gesture I will give you this tip – there won’t be many bidders as the number of men at these flower painting sessions is minimal (I think it is just me, and if this shoulder weren’t hurting, I’d be bull riding). Try standing her up to paint outside of a rugby match.

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